Coco Berry Cafe
4250 Fox Valley Center Drive
Aurora, IL 60504
January 27, 2008
We spotted this place the last time we went out to the Fox Valley Mall and decided to give it a try. We had some difficulty finding it again, because all we remembered was that it was near the entrance to one of the large department stores, but it was worth the trouble. Coco Berry is much classier than it looks on the outside. Really spacious, clean and bright. There was a host waiting to seat us when we walked in the door, and we didn't have to wait more than a minute or two for the waitress. Of course, it was early afternoon on a Tuesday and there were only a couple other customers in the restaurant. I imagine it's a little busier on a weekend.
I got the cinnamon roll french toast and a side order of sausages. Very tasty. Not quite as good as Mother's cinnamon roll french toast, but I have yet to find anything to compete with that. There were lots of other interesting things on the menu too, so I'll probably come back here to try some of their other entrees.
Joe here. I'm not sure just how long the Coco Berry Cafe has been open for business. I noticed it for the first time just before Christmas, and an encouraging profile appeared in the Beacon News a few weeks later. The name alone promises a sweet refuge from the frigid winter cold, a cozy and decadent oasis of hot and steamy treats. Look closer and you'll find more than just comfort food. Coco Berry Cafe offers much more.
To get the most out of our experience, we probably should have ordered some of their cocoa. Our server suggested some, or a latte, but we passed for common coffee. I'd venture to guess that their signature beverages are worth trying; there's a big coffee bar with tall in the front of the restaurant made just for their consumption. The picture I have of it is the only one I was able to take of the interior of the restaurant. The seating areas are large and spacious but not very photogenic and would require a wide angle lens to properly capture.
I ordered the wildberry pancakes. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and sliced strawberries top off five (count 'em, five) satisfying and fluffy pancakes. There's a lot here, so much that I shouldn't complain that there wasn't any fruit baked into the pancakes themselves. You'll find lots of variations on this dish from pancake house to pancake house. At Coco Berry Cafe, the emphasis seems to be on freshness and subtlety, not on drowning their cakes in fruit sauce to win over the taste buds of sugar-addicted customers. But perhaps there are plenty of examples to the contrary that I haven't sampled yet.
Though the prices are a little on the high end and the ambiance felt a little on sterile side (probably less so depending on where you're seated/how busy the restaurant is), I enjoyed our visit to the Coco Berry Cafe. In the sea of chain restaurants that orbit the Fox Valley Mall (sorry "Westfield Shoppingtown"), Coco Berry brings a welcome personal touch.